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This afternoon I moved my blog from the subdomain blog.garethjmsaunders.co.uk to become my main website here at www.garethjmsaunders.co.uk.

If you are subscribing to my blog then please update the RSS feed to https://www.garethjmsaunders.co.uk/feed/.

In the meantime, I’ve got a redirect in place to forward all traffic to the new location.

It’s something that I’ve wanted to do for a while as my main website wasn’t really offering anything more than I already had on my blog. I also wanted to simplify things significantly ahead of another web host move.

Migration complete… but where are the images?

Trello board tracking the migration of my websites
Trello board tracking the migration of my websites

For much of the last two weeks I’ve focussed on two things:

  1. Redesign my website (garethjmsaunders.co.uk)
  2. Migrate that site, this blog, my SEC digital calendar site, and the NYCGB alumni website to a new web host (SiteGround).

I’ve managed to complete the project three days early… well, kind of.

WordPress… we have a problem

One unforeseen snag has been to do with the media (images, PDFs, zip files, etc.) on this blog.

I’ve been using WordPress since version 0.7 in 2003. During that time I’ve been uploading image after image, and as WordPress changed the way that it stored images I’ve experimented with different ways of organising it—even simply uploading the images to my server via FTP. I must have tried about four or five different arrangements.

For the most part, though, I’ve been uploading files directly into /wp-content. Occasionally I’d switch on the “organise my uploads into month- and year-based folders” option.

In short the organisation of media on this blog has been a mess, and I’ve always shied away from addressing it because… well, it worked.

When I came to consider migrating this blog from Heart Internet to SiteGround I did think about the media: would it be a problem if I simply transferred everything over as is and sort it out there.

I was a fairly tight schedule (it had to be completed by 20 January so that my Heart Internet hosting account wasn’t renewed) and I reckoned that since it worked fine at Heart Internet then it should work at SiteGround.

I was wrong.

cPanel and the mystery of the 1,998 files

SiteGround uses cPanel. As Wikipedia explains, “cPanel is a Linux-based web hosting control panel that provides a graphical interface and automation tools designed to simplify the process of hosting a web site.”

cPanel uses Pure-FTPd, a free (BSD licence) FTP server which by default shows up to 2,000 files in each folder. I found that out after the event tucked away in the cPanel documentation.

I had 3,688 files plus 10 directories in my /wp-content folder and I couldn’t figure out why it would only display 1,998 files and the previously  visible directories, such as /plugins and /themes had disappeared.

So…

I am manually working my way through the media library. Uploading files into the appropriate /wp-content/uploads/<year>/<month> directories and updating the database to tell WordPress where the files are.

For those files that were uploaded before there was such a good media library I’m using the Add From Server plugin to quickly import media into the WordPress uploads manager.

This is going to take a while, so please bear with me.

Update

Monday 19 January 2015

I’m making good progress already. I’ve fixed 360/700 images in the media library. That’s 51%, just over the halfway mark.

I’m finding it strangely satisfying getting this sorted out. A bit of website gardening.

Transferring files from Dropbox to Copy using Mover

Following up from my post last week where I posed the question Copy – could this draw me away from Dropbox? last night I began transferring files from Dropbox to Copy to see how it compares with my data in place.

Today I’ve been using a third party web-based service called Mover to transfer the files from cloud to cloud, which is faster.

Before I go on, though, I just want to say thank you to everyone who used the referral URL https://copy.com/?r=SJuusn which gives both us an extra 5GB. My Copy account is now four times larger than a standard free, 15GB account—it is now a massive 60GB. Thank you.

Manual transfer

Obviously, the simplest option when migrating from one cloud-storage host to another would be to manually copy my files from the Dropbox folder to the Copy folder in My Documents.

Move files from Dropbox folder to Copy folder

I’ve done that with a few folders with only a handful of files in them, simply to judge the speed that Copy uploads them into the cloud.

The trouble with this method, however, is that on a domestic ADSL broadband connection my upload speed is significantly slower than my download speed; that’s what the ‘asymmetric’ bit of asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) means.

Copying files from Dropbox folder to Copy folder, then uploading into the cloud
Copying files from Dropbox folder to Copy folder, then uploading them into the cloud

Automated transfer

A faster method would be to transfer the files from my Dropbox account my Copy account in the cloud and then download them to my Copy folder on my PC, as my download speed is much faster.

It turns out that I’m not the only person to have thought of that. So this morning I signed up for a free account with Mover. The free account allows me to transfer up to 10GB of files from one service to another, after that it costs US$1.00 per GB (minimum of 10GB).

They support a wide range of services too:

  • Amazon S3
  • Box
  • Copy
  • Dropbox
  • FTP
  • Google Drive
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • Microsoft SkyDrive
  • MySQL
  • SmugMug
  • SugarSync
  • Web Dav

Within only a couple of minutes I had an account created, which was then given permissions to access my Dropbox and Copy accounts and the transferring began.

Mover transfers files from account to account in the cloud, then Copy downloads them to my PC
Mover transfers files from account to account in the cloud, then Copy downloads them to my PC

The user interface is nicely intuitive: add source (in this case, Dropbox), add a destination (Copy), tell Mover which files to transfer, click “Transfer Now!”

Mover user-interface
Tell Mover to transfer files from the service on the left to that on the right

What’s also nice is that it doesn’t require my PC to be on while Mover is copying files as the transfer is happening in the cloud, and I can gradually download the files when my PC is on.